High anti-dumping tariff and the US Seafood Import Monitoring Programme (SIMP) are now key barriers facing Vietnamese shrimp exporters.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), though shrimp export in the first four months grew by 13.8% annually to over US$1 billion, the April figure dropped by 0.4% year-on-year, reaching over US$275 million.
Last year, while shrimp export to countries surged, it fell by 8% from 2016 in the US market, partly due to high anti-dumping tax.
In early March, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) announced preliminary results of anti-dumping tax on Vietnamese shrimp during the 12th period of review from February 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017, amounting to 25.39%, much higher than the previous reviews.
Though lawyers discovered DOC’s miscalculations and preliminary results only serve as a reference, the ruling worried both sellers and buyers.
In April 2018, shrimp was added to the SIMP by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accordingly, shrimp importers must fully abide by SIMP’s requirements by December 31, 2018.
Specifically, they must be US citizens with International Fisheries Trade Permit from NOAA, declare necessary data to ensure legal imports. Such data must be kept within two years.
VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said the US has high demand for aquatic products, especially shrimp. It imports nearly 600,000 tonnes of shrimp for domestic consumption.
However, Vietnam’s shrimp export to the US only accounts for 10% annually, or around 60,000 tonnes. Meanwhile, Vietnam could ship 150,000 tonnes to the country so that firms need to improve quality and competitiveness to expand their market share.
VASEP has recently sent a document to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development suggesting measures for sustainable shrimp production and export. It asked the government to heed high-level diplomatic activities so that the US could rapidly lift trade barriers, especially anti-dumping taxes on shrimp.